This indoor renovation project is situated in the ground floor of a collective housing. The original collective housing, with six stories height, was built in around 1950s-1960s as part of Xiaogang Xincun Guangzhou.The area of the renovation includes a living room, a balcony, and a connected bedroom, which were separated from the residential unit at the ground floor. The indoor space is 2.7 meters high. Instead of facing the street, this place is located in the interior of the commu-nity. The opening of nearby subway has brought about the gathering of people. Hence, various businesses like manicure, clothing, coffee and tea shops has gradually developed on the ground floor of this open community. Before the renovation, the site used to be a flower shop.
The mission of the design is to turn the two-room space into a place for drinking coffee, gather-ing and communication. And the focus of our design is to turn the indoor space into an integral part of the city block.
套匣 Box in Box
The business of the coffee shop is divided into two parts： dine-in and online take-out. We place the area of coffee bar in the room which is adjacent to the original balcony, leaving the other room as an independent dining and resting space. By doing so, the mutual interference between take-out business and dine-in activities can be reduced. In terms of spatial form, we integrated the bar counter as an independent and floating volume, nesting it inside the room as if a box de-vice. For customers, in addition to order drinks and make inquiries on the side of the box that close to the entrance, they are also able to go all around the box and experience spatial exchange with the barista. The space thus showcases an open and welcoming manner.
内外 Indoor & Outdoor
Giving consideration to the brick-concrete structure of the original residence, and the structural safety concerns of the owner and householders upstairs, we decided to retain the original posi-tions and dimensions of doors and window. At the lowest height among the tops of door and window openings, we use galvanized steel sheets to extend outwards as a rain shade canopy. This approach gives a horizontal order to the facade, meanwhile shelters the openings which, without glass, from sunlight and rain. At the same time, in the dining space, a concrete seat is overhung with the support of the parapet wall below the window opening. Customers can sit sideways, leaning on the seat to look at the trees and passing pedestrians in the community, or sit side by side with friends, gazing at the outdoor scene reflected in the galvanized steel sheet on the north wall.
To close the doors and window, old-style folding iron partitions are adopted. The partitions were not installed in accordance with the size of the openings, but were separated from them and set outside the doors and window. When the folding partitions are opened along with the open of the shop, the openings look more like “holes” between indoor and outdoor space, rather than doors and windows in the usual sense. Thereby, a more open indoor-outdoor relationship are presented here.
Through the introduction of the spatial type of “box in box”, hole-like transition between indoor and outdoor, and the seemingly separated but ambiguous state between architecture, space and furniture, the design let the coffee shop presents a kind of transparent, clear and semi-outdoor spatial impression. These are our efforts on creating a positive space of urban block.
Project name：Inside-out Cabinet, Sigma Incorrect Coffee Shop
Project location：Xiaogang Xincun, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Project type：Renovation of a shop, at the ground floor of a community
Architect：Liu Yang | Atelier Waterside
Client：Sigma Incorrect Coffee Shop
Construction party：Chen Weifeng Team
Construction materials：galvanized steel sheet, plain plywood, stainless steel sheet, cement plas-tering